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[Rudeus POV]

 

“Ruijerd Supardia, Have a match with me…”

It’s just so sudden I, Rudeus, actually drop my spoon.

What’s wrong with this brat? Is he sane?

Ruijerd was himself, accepting the taunt and heading towards the ground. It’s a rare sunny day in the Great Forest.

Eris and I can only gape towards the boy, pointing the tip of his blade to Ruijerd. As we see each other, I can see her eagerness and excitement.

Sigh, this girl really is a battle maniac.

..

.

[N POV]

 

As he dragged the coffin towards the sparring ground, the other people covered their ears because of the grating noise.

“What’s that thing?”

Ruijerd asked.

“This? My scabbard…”

As Claude said so, he opened the weapon box.

There, weapons coming out one by one.

From smaller to bigger than himself, An Ax came out of the tiny space. Followed by Swords of all kinds and sizes, then spears, knives, and even Hammer, including the anvil.

Everyone within the ground was amazed by the amazing weaponry coming out of the small coffin.

The sheer amount of weapon coming out of it was flabbergasting. No wonder the coffin was grating when it was dragged.

They even wonder how that boy with a small stature can drag something so heavy…

By the time he’s finished, almost a quarter of the sparring ground was filled with his items.

“I know that he’s a blacksmith, but, isn’t this too much?…” Rudeus said

“Wow! Rudeus! How is that even possible, what kind of magic is that?!”

“I also want to ask you the same question, Rudeus-sama…” Gyes add while the other Beast folk stares at Rudeus.

“… Ugh, I also want to know that… I guess it’s one of Claude’s Artifact. He’s an enchanter, so that should allow him to create an inventory space that can store his weapon.” Rudeus stopped for a minute and started to mutter something more.

“I see, that means he’s adept in space-time magic. But, he can’t reach greater mastery, so that’s why the coffin drags dirt along with its movement…”

While some of them didn’t understand what Rudeus was saying, the Village Chief nodded in understanding.

“Which means, the coffin was heavier because as he can create more space to it, he can’t decrease the weight? Is that what you mean, Rudeus-dono”

“Oh, I guess so… from what I read, a weight reduction spell is something never before seen within this era. Even the space folding spell was a forgotten spell…”

Rudeus’ reasoning was interrupted by Claude.

“I’m sorry, to make you wait…”

“It’s nothing. I can wait longer if you want.”

“No, this is enough. Although it’s varied, I can already sense that my weapons are brittle compared to yours…”

“Of course, this is a Supardian Spear. Created from our body, the longer we held it, the stronger it will become. As a weapon that has been with me for 400 years, I can undoubtedly said that it’s stronger than yours…”

“Hah… how…” Claude Suddenly appeared before Ruijerd “Boastful!”.

“Impressive,” Ruijerd said as he parried the strike and sent Claude away.

“Wha… Can you see it, Eris, Gyes, Elder?” Rudeus asked as he could only see that Claude suddenly appeared before Ruijerd in an instant.

Eris, Gyes, and the village chief were all training in combat. They are all the better than the other from, the earlier to the later.

But, even to them, it’s instant teleportation.

“As expected from a Veteran, you’ve seen this magic before?”

“It’s been a while since I see a Time magic… what a queer one, even in the past, Time magic was something that only a handful can use, not to mention master them…”

Ruijerd was amazed. Time magic it’s something that only those King grade Mage can do. Even in the past, where the Demon Lord Laplace conquered the land, a mage of Time was rare.

“Thank you for the compliment.”

Claude is using a Sword, a Long sword, to be exact.

Using his Peak Advanced Class Sword god Style, he moves slowly but surely to Ruijerd, who’s still taking his Time to guide him.

Claude already knows that he can’t beat Ruijerd, but he never expects that he can’t make the person get serious.

Each moves created a sensation towards the onlooker.

A child of his age and already better than Gyes in his swords were rarely seen.

“You’ve broken all the swords you had. What kind of weapon will you use next?” Ruijerd said as he stopped to let Claude take his Time choosing from his weaponry.

Claude didn’t answer him. He attacked Ruijerd using a throwing knife. As Ruijerd blocked it, Claude brought the Hammer from the Ancient Troll.

“This might be strong enough to handle your spear then!”

BAM!

The ground shook as the Hammer smashed the ground. Ruijerd dodged the attack and moved further away.

“That weapon…” Ruijerd squinted his eyes as he remembered the weapon.

“You know this? It’s something I took from the Troll I told you before…”

“The one chomped your arm I presume?”

“That’s…” Claude once again used his Time spell to suddenly appeared before Ruijerd. “Right!”

Woosh!

The horizontal swing is dodged by Ruijerd by a slight margin, but because Claude was spinning while swinging the Hammer, Ruijerd can only move further away from him.

Although he can parry the attack, he still took some time in the spar.

Unknowingly, the Hammer was thrown by Claude towards him.

“Ugh…”

Ruijerd Groaned at the sheer force of the Hammer.

“Whoa, a success at last! Now, try this!”

Claude said as he moved to stab Ruijerd with a spear.

“Is this person really a human child? He’s not a Demon kin with a young appearance, right?”

Gyes said in doubt.

“I can promise you that he’s my childhood friend… but, I don’t know that he’s this strong…”

“I can see why he’s mad at you, Rudeus… I mean, a year ago, Claude’s still someone that had trouble handling you, right?”

“A year ago huh… Is that Mana Burst the reason he’s this strong?”

“Mana Burst? What’s that?” Gyes asked, then Rudeus told him the story of Claude’s Mana burst.

“No, I can only presume that his talent was pushed to the peak after you guys grew apart…” the elder said after he heard the story.

“then, what does make him so strong?” Eris asked while the background noise of Ruijerd and Claude’s fight was still heard. She’s still focusing on the fight even now.

“Do you see the inconsistency in his skin color?”

“Yes…”

“I can only presume that it’s not some kind of disease, but healed injury…” The elder said and stopped talking at the moment while pointing at Claude.

“Look at his injuries, they are healing slowly…”

Rudeus was astonished at what he saw, the same with Eris and Gyes.

“As you can see, a small wounds won’t leave any scar. But, what about his whole arm in the side, and the patches of skin defect at the other areas?”

“…”

“I can only said guess that the child was having threatening, life and death moment in the time you all spent journeying here…”

“Life and Death moment… Mass Teleportation…”

While they all had their discussion, the spar was near the end.

The ground is littered with weapons fragments as Claude gasps for breath. Ruijerd, with scratches on his body, was moving closer to him.

“It’s impressive… for someone Eris’ age, no… you are an amazing warrior, Claude.”

“Sigh… I still am not your match though?”

“if you can match me with just several years of training, it means that I waste all my time living several times more than you…”

“Alright… it’s my loss, the only one left is just that Hammer and this Glaive in my hands… Never expected a Sword Saint can Defeat a Supardian Spearman, but to only leave a scratch… what a disappointment…”

Claude said as he lost his consciousness.

..

.

[Rudeus POV]

 

I clenched my fist hard while seeing the sparring ground filled with weapons fragments.

I am mortified at what progress I had, looking at him. Even so, what can I do? It’s not like I am as crazy as that guy.

He’s a prodigy, while I am not.

I am Rudeus Greyrat, right now, I am feeling mortified.

We can just stop it there.

But, the pride of a reincarnated person inside me was screaming in agony. I am better than him. I’m someone that had lived more than him.

However, the fact that I’m lacking behind him is the truth.

I still remember the Time I teach him about magic, and the fact that he’s still a grade lower than me in ranking is still there.

I am obviously better than him above the paper.

Still, his combat sense is way above me.

“Don’t think too much Rudeus, albeit he’s stronger than you physically. You’re still way above him in other knowledge! You’re also amazing!”

Eris said, trying to encourage me.

“You see, Eris. Claude is also my disciple in magic, the same as you…”

“He’s my senior?”

“Yep… the Time he spent in training his swords and magic is less than me. But, look at him right now… he can do Blacksmithing by learning from his father, and do enchantment because of a small wand of mine? How long do you think it took him to do all that?”

“Years?”

“Yep, 2 years to be exact. From the age of seven to the age of nine…”

“That’s really amazing…” Eris can’t help but be amazed at his learning capability.

“By now, I can undoubtedly say that he’s better than my father. I mean, by the Time I leave the village, he’s just a tad bit stronger than me. But now? I can’t even be a match for him without ambushing him”

“Don’t belittle yourself too much. You’re still young. There’s also that magic eyes you had, isn’t it? You can still improve.”

Ruijerd suddenly said as he approached us.

“Thanks Ruijerd…”

“Right! You’re still young! You definitely better in magic mastery than him, you just need to polish it more!”

“Right, I’ll do that, Eris…”

I thank Eris and Ruijerd, we then go to the grave Claude made the other day.

There, I can see the withered flower.

There are words written there.

“For the parents of my friend, may you rest in peace.”

Eris read it out loud.

“Claude’s friend…”

“It’s Somar’s parent, do you still remember them?”

Claude suddenly appeared. Holding a fresh flower, he went to the grave and exchanged the withered flowers with the new one.

“Somar… is it that fat one?”

“Yep, the one that made you and Paul fought. You know the woman feel in love with your father and became the rumor of the village?”

“Oh… it’s her, huh…”

“Well, anyway, I’m sorry that I blame you for their death… you don’t even know the story…”

Claude apologized to me, but I can’t say that he’s wrong.

All This Time, I deceived myself thinking that I was the only one who fell into this misfortune. I am so afraid of reading the notice board that something like this would happen.

Now that I think about it, I believe that God too much that I forgot the most important thing.

“Information gathering… it’s what you always said to me, but I just forgot about it huh…”

“I guess I’m expecting too much right? To think that a kid less than 10 years old to remember something I said repeatedly while joking…”

Hey, even if you don’t know that I’m an Oldman Inside, It’s still hurt to belittle by someone younger than you.

I agree that it’s my mistake, but don’t look at me like that…

“Urgh…” I grunt, unable to deny my mistake.

“Anyway, I’ve improved since then. I can create a better swords for Eris and you, if you want? Though I definitely can’t create a stronger staff like what you have right now, yet…”

“Huhum! Of course it’s awesome! My family spent the Time to search for the staff to give it to Rudeus on his 10th birthday!”

“Right, your birthday… meh, I won’t give you any present since you don’t even remember to give me one on my birthday…”

Right…

I never gave him any…

“Heck, I don’t even know your birthday!”

“I might be your future Little brother in law, but it’s still in the future, so mind your manner, I;m still older than you, Right, Eris?”

“I definitely won’t allow you to touch a single hair of my little sister, you bastard!”

“Hey! He’s older than you, I’m older than you! Respect us!”

“Yeah! Respect us!”

Eris, don’t mimic Claude!

He’s a bad example. Stay away from him.

“Ughhhh, Water ball!”

“Whoa, he attacks us. Run Eris! Run!” Claude said teasingly as he easily dodged my water ball barrage and nonchalantly walked away.

“Run! Hahaha”

Hey, Eris, don’t just follow the hype and run away from me.

I’m hurt…

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Mushoku Tensei FF Chapter 20

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